There’s no denying that life as an athlete is incredibly demanding. Whether training every single day or competing in a tough competition, the strain on your body and mind can sometimes be a lot to handle!
Expending more energy than usual means that you must store more energy than usual. This is why, as an athlete, it’s important to know how to maintain your energy levels as much as possible! This guide will reveal all.
1. Eat Your Iron
Iron is an essential mineral that has many important roles to play in the body. It is most commonly known for reducing tiredness and fatigue, which as an athlete, is super important to keep an eye on. Not only this, but iron is important for the transport of oxygen (EFSA, 2009), which is obviously needed when competing in physically demanding activities!
Due to its importance, a lot of athletes take iron supplements to safeguard their intake. You can also find it in many foods, including liver, nuts, beans, dried fruit and fortified cereals.
2. Find Some Protein
Protein is important for absolutely everyone, but for athletes, it’s a must-have. Protein helps to build and maintain a strong body and is also required for muscle maintenance and recovery (EFSA, 2010). You can find protein in eggs, fish, nuts and lean meats.
3. Stay Hydrated
It’s important to stay hydrated all day long as water helps all bodily functions to work properly (EFSA, 2011). This is particularly true as an athlete, as intense exercise causes you to sweat more, leading to dehydration. With this in mind, make the effort to drink water with every meal and carry a bottle of water around whenever possible.
4. Always Add Vegetables To Your Meals
Vegetables are full of beneficial nutrients that your body requires to function normally. This is why it is so important to eat your five a day, whether an athlete or not. Try to incorporate a portion of vegetables into each meal, or if you would prefer something sweeter, have a side of fruit! Just as long as you stick to getting your five a day, you’ll be well on your way to getting the nutrients you need.
5. Sleep Well
As an athlete, the pressure that comes from the profession can often cause disruptive sleep patterns. However, without a good night’s sleep, you will not be able to have the energy to focus on the day ahead. With this in mind, try to get six to nine hours of sleep every night. Taking the time out of your busy schedule to sleep will, in turn, make you all the more productive!
With the above five tips in mind, you should have everything you need to maintain your energy levels as an athlete. If you find yourself struggling with energy after following these tips, however, consider reaching out to a health professional. They will be able to assess your current situation and see what might be causing issues.